Report to:

Salcombe Harbour Board


26 September 2022


Harbour Master’s Report

Portfolio Area:

Salcombe Harbour

Wards Affected:

All Wards


Urgent Decision:


Approval and clearance obtained:


Date next steps can be taken:
(e.g. referral on of recommendation or implementation of substantive decision)





C Sims-Stirling


Harbour Master


Tel: 01548 843791






That the Board RESOLVES to note and endorse the content of the Harbour Master’s report.


1. Executive summary


This report updates the Board on a number of recent issues affecting the Harbour.



2.  Performance Indicators


The Harbour Board endorsed the introduction of a set of Performance Indicators (PIs) and to have them reported as a standing agenda item (SH 26/06).


See Appendix 1, 2 & 3


Appendix 1 contains seasonal PIs based around visitor income from the 2022 summer season. Following last year’s COVID-19 staycation and relatively high turnover there was a question as to whether levels of trade would fall in 2022 back to a pre-covid ‘normal.’ Despite travel opening up the harbour continued to be busy but on a more consistent basis, probably facilitated by a relative calm weather season.  Income from visitors from sea with regard to both Mooring Fees and Harbour Dues is just up on last year and well above the recent average. Income for Visitor Foreshore moorings and the Boatpark are also substantially up, these are booked in advance and are less susceptible to the weather, with a portion of income needing to be re-coded from suspension in last year’s account.

Town landings, used for overnight stays is up on last year, following recovery from covid, but is down on previous years, partly attributed to a re-coding of income. The Trailer Park, noticeable by its absence this year due to the Commercial Marine Units development was temporarily relocated to provide a minimal amount of space to store loose trailers, inevitably income from this area was down given its size and timescale.  


Appendix 2 highlights the demand for various Harbour Authority and SHDC facilities. This forms a good baseline that can be used in future to plan further development. Following covid the demand for facilities has continued to increase. Whilst there is still no availability in Newbridge or Frogmore Creeks, which historically would have had some foreshore moorings unallocated, the number of people waiting for a foreshore mooring is the only location showing a reduction. This is likely due to the large number of facilities dotted around the Harbour that have a relatively higher turnover that are not our current clienteles’ preferred option, that being to be berthed on a walk ashore pontoon or the deep water. For the fourth year running we have more people waiting for the Batson Residents Compound and the Foreshore Pontoon facilities than the total number of spaces/berths that those facilities physically have, currently allocated.


2.1    Outcomes/outputs.


The Harbour Authority have created a more accurate way of obtaining “logged” information, see Appendix 3. The aim is to build a robust monitoring system that will give a greater insight into incidents throughout the harbour, which in turn will highlight areas for future consideration regarding running a safe and efficient harbour.


It is worth noting we are continually improving our methods of logging incidents via various means, in house, as editable electronic forms posted online and available to email and afloat with our staff via remote devices. This will naturally result in a more efficient reporting process and an increase in the number of events logged. It is therefore not surprising that most tallies of various incidents are steady or increased.


The table in Appendix 3 makes note of particular examples or breaks down particular types of incidents with some trends are noted below:


Collisions: In general we see an increasing trend but given the number of sailing dinghy incidences without damage some of this is partly down to the fleet being educated to record any instance of contact with a non-race craft in case of challenge. All dinghy racing incidents receive a reasonable response from the yacht club, an independent expert and ourselves in analysing damage and blame. That said we have seen an increase in reported incidents at the Boatpark and still have a relatively high number of collisions between larger, predominantly visiting craft, unable to anticipate fast tidal flows.


Damage: As noted above the more severe collisions have resulted in damage, primarily yacht on yacht. Some instances include where our own craft have caused or received damage such as the taxi alongside a visiting yacht in foul weather, the boatman taking lines from an ill positioned or helmed visiting yacht or problems getting alongside the East Portlemouth slipway in a strong cross tide.


Navigational incident: Emma Jane report published and forwarded to the board.


MOB: Gig regatta capsize report published and forwarded to the board. Sailing dinghy MOB/Medical was efficiently dealt with by the actions of a doctor crewing on another dinghy, followed by an immediate response from rescue boats and SHA craft.


Near Miss: Loose trailer report published and forwarded to the board. Sailing dinghy conduct and incidents discussed in wash up meeting with Salcombe Yacht Club.


Speeding: Following an alteration in the currently contracted Night Security’s patrol hours they have been afloat for longer periods in the evening where trips up and down the creeks have resulted in improved observation, education and logging of byelaw offences including speeding, nuisance and antisocial behaviour. Whilst the figures, relatively speaking, look bad our presence and enforcement has improved significantly over the busier evening hours.         



2.2    Options available and consideration of risk.


Monitor and report; periodically review PIs for their utility.



2.3    Proposed Way Forward.


Continue monitoring PIs with regular reports back to the Board.


Report recommendations taken on board and communicated to the relevant parties to ensure more vigorous compliance and paperwork exercises, including the production of a new Maritime Event Request Form to set out the requirements for certain activities.


Continue to improve communication with Salcombe Yacht Club including pre and post season/event meetings, including where possible independent comment. SYC also reviewing, reinforcing and re-publishing their terms on competing in dinghy racing with a medical condition.




3.  Procurement update.


3.1    Harbour Security


The current security contract will end April 1st, 2023. Before going to tender, and as referenced in previous board minutes and discussions there is an opportunity to mould the direction in which patrol, surveillance and enforcement is focussed within the harbour.


Action: To secure a date (mid-October) for a security/patrol workshop. Teams or in person preference.


Resulting decisions to be brought to the November board meeting.


3.2    Harbour Barge


Upon completion of Batson Commercial Units and Harbour Depot project. 




4. Projects Update.


4.1    Commercial Units and Harbour Depot


Verbal update – Dan Field.


4.2    Harbour Office


Consider the key deliverables for improving visiting yacht facilities, including costs, opportunities and constraints.



5. Training / Staff


5.1    Staff Training update



- AHM          - PMSC Compliance and the roles of the HM.

          - 4P Refresher Oil Spill Response.

          - SHDC Line managers development pathway.


- Forklift Truck refresher course for 4x staff.





6. Governance


6.1    Governance


SHDC’s Executive has been identified as the Duty Holder for Salcombe Harbour Authority.


Ashfords LLP had been scheduled to conduct mandatory Duty Holder training for the Executive on Mon 19th Sept. This will now be rearranged for mid-October so as to not conflict with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral, which will be a national Bank Holiday.



7. Designated person


7.1    Audit


SHA Port Marine Safety Code compliance update from Designated Person


On 30th August I met with SHA management to confirm progress made against the recommendations following the DPs spring audit. The authority has made very good progress in improving compliance against the PMSC and a robust safety management system is taking shape which will serve well into the future.


Work undertaken so far includes:


·         Full rewrite of the safety management manual and associated documents

·         Full rewrite and review of SHA risk assessment methodology

·         Rewriting of risk assessments against the new methodology

·         Review of the authority’s duty holder function and placement

·         Consolidation of existing policies and procedures

The next stages are to formalise the duty holder function, then to consult with stakeholders on the contents of the new safety management system and risk management strategies. These are anticipated to be progressed during the next quarter.




8. Implications




to proposals

Details and proposed measures to address




The Council is the Harbour Authority for the purposes of the Pier and Harbour Order (Salcombe) Confirmation Act 1954 and the Harbours Act 1964  As the Harbour Authority the Council is expected to follow the Ports Good Governance Guide.  The Guide advises that Local Authority owned Statutory Harbour Authorities should generally operate in an open, transparent and accountable way, making a range of information available to stakeholders about their organisation and activities, subject to commercial and data confidentiality considerations.  This report is one of the ways in which the Council seeks to meet the Guide’s requirements.   

Financial implications to include reference to value for money







The Harbour maintains three different reserves, one for replacement of plant and vessels, one for the replacement of pontoons and a general reserve.  In the event of the budget not balancing at the end of the Financial year any surplus is transferred into the General Reserve and any shortfall would be funded from this reserve.

Supporting Corporate Strategy


Salcombe Harbour is part of the ‘Enterprise Theme’, creating places for enterprise to thrive and business to grow, contributing to the marine and tourism economy.

Climate Change – Carbon / Biodiversity Impact


None directly arising from this report.

Comprehensive Impact Assessment Implications

Equality and Diversity






Community Safety, Crime and Disorder



Health, Safety and Wellbeing


No adverse impacts.

Other implications





Supporting Information



1: Performance Markers, Summer 2022

2: Wait List 2022

3: Review of Incident Log, Summer 2022


Background Papers: